Sift through a book case of an exciting variety this weekend.
1. "Dubai, The Making of a Megapolis", Written by Pranay Gupte; Published by Penguin India; Priced at Rs.699
From the desert sands to a glittering metropolis, this is the inside story of Dubai's transformation. In just two decades, Dubai has re-invented itself from a small, poor and quiet fishing village to a dazzling city with a vibrant urban life. The emirate is now also known for its cosmopolitan melting-pot culture, and its enabling environment to conduct business, and this, along with the tax-free system and hassle-free infrastructure, makes it a much sought-after site for multinational enterprises who want a base in Asia. Dubai, and the UAE, is also an oasis of stability in a region marked with uncertainty.
Gupte draws on his deep knowledge of the region and its leading personalities to trace the city-state's extraordinary and fabulous journey.
2. "Of Dreams"; Written by Aditi Talwar Sodhi; Published by Pustak Mahal; Priced at Rs.150
"Of Dreams" is the story of Amrita, Aarti and Payal. Amrita has lost her first love, Aarti has lost her only chance to higher education and Payal has lost her dignity -- the three girls stand disadvantaged at the threshold of adulthood.
As they journey ahead, Amrita repeatedly allows herself to be manipulated but becomes the biggest manipulator. Aarti keeps looking back when she should be forging ahead. Payal tries desperately to erase her past but her future seems to be fading faster. Shaheen - the fourth character in the drama - adds an air of mystery.
A gripping chick adventure of the choices made.
3. "Out of the Blue: Rajasthan's Road to Ranji Trophy"; Written by Aakash Chopra; Published by Harper Collins; Priced at Rs.299
This inspiring true story draws on India's greatest craze - cricket, chronicling the rise of a team seen as the quintessential underdog. For Rajasthan, last in the pool of domestic teams in India and ignored by all the big guns for decades together, the first class season of 2010-11 became their only shot at redemption. With their backs to the wall, each player vowed to fight a battle of survival.
While some played to avenge their pride - unsympathetically wounded by a heartless system, the others, much younger, played hard just to get noticed. With each match played, the team became stronger in resolve.
In "Out of the Blue", Chopra goes on to tell the story of these perennial underdogs, who paved the way for their team's remarkable renaissance. Their motivation, their passion and their drive to succeed have finally resurrected their cause.
4. "A Step Away from Paradise"; Written by Thomas K. Shor; Published by Penguin India; Priced at Rs.399
This is the story of Tibet's Tulshuk Lingpa, visionary lama, who in 1962 launched an expedition to what he and his followers described as the land of immortality. With over 300 disciples, he ventured up a remote Himalayan mountain on the Nepal-Sikkim border to open a hidden land to plenty found on no map.
The story narrates the finding of the way to the Himalayan paradise. The book is illustrated with colourful photographs that capture the landscape of the remote Himalayas.
5. "Conditions Apply"; Written by Nishant Kaushik; Published by Rupa & Co; Priced at $10 (Rs.501.80)
Romance is in the air when a workaholic corporate genius is besotted by a shy and charming banker. They marry for love but their diverse ambitions threaten to eclipse their happiness when the latent actress inside his better-half is awakened by a crazy, voodoo-obsessed filmmaker. Meanwhile, a fiery yet somewhat aimless journalist settles in with an unaccomplished dance instructor, and they make peace with their unrequited dreams, limited means, and unlimited beer.
And there are those self-proclaimed righteous neighbours who can't get enough of the "profanities" practised by the "outsiders" settled in their neighbourhood. "Conditions Apply" is a comical exploration of modern social values as seen by its outrageously funny yet endearing characters who struggle to find love and peace amid the endless pressures of a metropolis.